Photo: David Meerman Scott
One of the most coveted things a brand can earn is the emotional investment of their customers in the brand itself. That undeniable force that can make or break a business is why the Wall Street Journal bestseller, FANOCRACY – Turning Fans into Customers and Customers into Fans is a must read for marketers today.
Co-authored by best selling author and international keynote speaker David Meerman Scott and his daughter Reiko Scott, Fanocracy was 5 years in the making. David and Reiko have developed a blueprint of 9 steps for marketers to tap in to the most powerful marketing force in the world: passionate fans.
The book has a great Father / Daughter genesis story. While David’s experiences surfing and passion for live music were different from Reiko’s experiences with cosplay at Comic Con and as a Harry Potter fan, they realized how their ideas about fandoms were so similar. Why not explore those experiences further and write a book?
So what does Fanocracy really mean? The authors put it this way: “Fanocracy means an organization that puts the needs and wishes of fans ahead of every other priority. Applying the strategies in Fanocracy will make your company more likely to dominate your category and win business. And beyond the financial benefits, a Fanocracy spreads more joy and inspiration to the world at large”
I think we can all agree that the world could definitely use more joy and inspiration right now.
Fanocracy makes a good case for it too: “In a digital world where our lives are increasingly cluttered and superficial, we’re missing something tremendously powerful: genuine human connection. The relationship we build with our customers is more important than the products and services we sell them.”
Meaningful over mechanical and relationships and customer experience over transactions is a trend we’ve all seen coming in the business world and Fanocracy does a great job in three parts of establishing the why, outlining in 9 steps how and in the final section about enjoying Fanocracy.
There’s an old expression, “Facts tell, stories sell”, and this book is full of brand stories that serve as examples from Adobe and Air Jordans to Starbucks and Star Wars. Going beyond theoretical platitudes, the second section dives in to specifics, making Fanocracy a useful, practical guide.
- Get closer than usual
- Let go of your creations
- Give more than you have to
- Build identity to become more than the product
- Be smart about influencers
- Break down barriers
- Listen to rehumanize
- Tell the truth, especially when it hurts
- Develop employees who are fans
Now you can imagine given my area of marketing focus, that the influencer section was of interest and you would be right. David reached out to me to contribute insights from that chapter and he also related his personal first-hand experience working with me and my agency as an influencer himself. David was featured in our Break Free of Boring B2B campaign along with other top B2B marketing influencers like Michael Brenner, Ardath Albee, Sangram Vajre, Masha Fingelstein, Tim Washer, Brian Fanzo, and Amanda Maksymiw.
One of the things our company does to inspire fans amongst industry influencers is to create content collaboration experiences that inspire them to share and drive conversations around the topic. This kind of effort is at the core of what we do at our agency for clients: create great content experiences that inspire people.
Working with influencers to create mutual value is a great way to inspire advocacy for your brand. The key is to really understand their interests and goals of the influencers so collaboration or activations can be hyper relevant. Just as it is with customers, brands that create great experiences for influencers can turn those business connections into fan connections.
Not only is Fanocracy is a thoughtful exploration of what it means to tap the most powerful marketing force there is, fandom, but it’s also a great example of a Father and Daughter collaboration that might just inspire you to pursue your passions as a fan.
You can find out more about the book at Fanocracy.com plus a free guide, Nine Steps to Building a Fanocracy in Your Business. You can connect with both authors on Twitter at: @dmscott and @allison_reiko.